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1. Start planning early

As students get closer to the final year of high school, their schedules are filled trying to balance school and a social life—all while exploring potential college campuses. To lessen the stress, some experts suggest families begin discussing college as early as when a student is in elementary school.

student planning

2. Visit campuses while on vacation

Trying to plan extended road trips to a long list of schools can be laborious. Instead, families should take detours to visit campuses while on other trips or vacations, recommends Mary Conger, founder of the campus visit service Collegocity.

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3. Take virtual tours

Some colleges may be too far from home for students to make an initial visit. For those individuals, there are now online services—such as eCampusTours and YourCampus360—that allow prospective students to explore a college campus from the comfort of their couches.

4. Talk to students on campus

While campus tour guides may be able to answer many of your academic questions, blogger Lynn O’Shaughnessy notes that they are often paid to show their school in a positive light. Prospective students should talk to current students on campus to get a clearer picture of a school’s culture.

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